Nicolas Gonner


Our Neighbour's Counsel

Onsem Noper sai rôt

Let me, young men, let me tell you
If you do not want to grieve
Let the women not enthrall you,
'Cause they're daughters of old Eve.
Let me tell you now a story
So you'll know the way it goes,
Take good care or you'll be sorry
Wisely choose when you propose.
You know Hennes from the smithy,
't was a friend whom I so cherished,
We would still be best friends – pity!
Had he not untimely perished.
Hennes wanted to be married,
There was no woman in the house,
Day and night he toiled and hurried
Till at last he sought a spouse.
In his town, he didn't find one,
So he went straight to the next,
There his eye fell on a fine one
Who to marriage did not object.
And the girl was so hard-working
When her Hennes was nearby,
Never showed a foul-mouthed shirking,
Quite the opposite, was shy.
And she wasn't one for playing,
Lived a calm, retired life,
Often mentioned death and praying,
And so thrifty − what a wife.
But her Hennes she would treat though
To good eggs and bread and cheese,
'Cause her Hennes was an eater
And she'd say: "Some more? Come, please."
When the neighbours whispered wisely:
"She is putting up a show"
Hennes told his bride surprised, he
Thought these people mean and low.
And my Hennes asked his girlfriend,
They were married in the church,
And his girl became his wife then,
A good end to a good search.
But poor Hennes soon was wiser,
Right after the wedding date,
Could not help it, change it either,
Merely could bemoan his fate.
For his angel was a devil,
Not the least of devils, too,
She was really on a level
With the worst ones of the brew.
Mary was extremely lazy,
Stayed in bed till noon, I swear,
A household like a dump, so crazy,
In the soup was swimming hair.
Mary lived a life of plenty,
Thriftiness was long gone then,
Hennes' chair was always empty
When eggs she put into the pan.
Certainly she wasn't timid,
Had a sharp tongue all the time,
And her meanness knew no limit
When she spilled her filth and grime.
Hennes' needs went unattended
Even though no shelf was bare,
He complained, highly offended,
But she grabbed him by the hair.
Hennes from the smithy's buried,
Mary soon again was bride,
Now she's looking pale and harried,
It's a red one, serves her right.
Mary's tongue grew blunt and quiet,
People laughed at her expense,
Her lazy husband loved a riot,
Spent the money without sense.
Oft his wife would then go hungry,
No stale bread slice went to waste,
And if Mary protests blunty,
Of his fist she gets a taste.
No ass could bear such evil thrashing
As Mary gets day in, day out,
Until this day she gets these bashings
And she deserves each one, no doubt.
Listen, and my brother Tunn
Was the best guy here in town,
About each girl he'd dream and moon
But each one would turn him down.
Tunn was dressed up to the nines,
Every Sunday, money's spent,
He kept up with rich boys fine
When they sat with beer in hand.
Of Gretchen was our Tunn so fond,
The whole town knew about his plan.
Teased him: When's the marriage bond
With the prettiest in the land?
Gretchen was a proud young lass,
Led him up the garden path,
Laughed behind his back so crass
But danced then with him nonetheless.
Every man was Gretchen's pet,
Every man in our town,
She played with them like a cat
Plays with mice that it hunts down.
Turning heads of all the men,
With disdain she let them fall,
First she warmly clasped their hands,
Then she laughed about them all.
Our Tunn, a good young lad,
Trusted the enchantress' words,
Trusted her more than his dad
Or his mother, whom he hurt.
And our Tunn had honest plans,
There is not a doubt about,
His mother told him: Not a chance,
Still he asked his Gretchen out.
"Will you marry me?" he said,
"Wed you, louse, I never will,
You are way too poor," said Gret,
"With your hut upon the hill."
Guess to whom the girl was wed?
't was the shepherd from our town.
She'd annoyed each honest lad,
So they simply turned her down.
Listen now, what I endured
When I was a strong young man,
Listen, how a girl first lured
And then let me fall again.
She was all around me, laughed,
Smiled and giggled, talked with glee,
Acting like she were in love
When she made her pass at me.
Soon I was enthralled by her,
Helpless, smitten by her charms,
Must admit I loved her dear,
Certainly heard no alarms.
The girl was pretty, well-endowed,
Not too thin and not too fat,
It still feels like she's about
With that rose upon her hat.
And her hair was chestnut brown,
Big and bright her lively eyes,
Dangerous 't was looking down
Into those orbs of fiery ice.
In her mouth were teeth like pearls
And her lips were rosy red,
Just you look at all the girls,
There's no sweeter to be had.
And her cheeks so round and full,
Roses blooming thereupon,
And the chin too had some pull,
Like a work of art it shone.
And my girl was gracious, too,
In her clothes and in her walk,
Thought she'd be my whole life through
My happiness around the clock.
But I was so awfully wrong,
A rose's thorns cut like a sword,
And I felt the thorns so strong
On that rose which I adored.
Thought my girl would have a heart
Where I'd have a place – it showed
't was not so, because in March
I received my farewell note.
Had a thunderbolt struck down,
Had I drowned at night at sea,
I'd preferred that, here and now,
To this rudest valedictory.
Thought my heart would break in two
From the agony and pain,
Didn't matter what I'd do,
Everything felt dull, in vain.
Years went by, so many years,
But my heart ached like before,
Still I loved her true, my dear,
Wanted her forevermore.
But she got what she deserved,
At the water sits and aches,
By the sand soon was unnerved,
Go and ask at Affen lake.
Let me, young men, let me tell you
If you do not want to grieve
Let the women not enthrall you,
'Cause they're daughters of old Eve.
The Bible says, Eve caused a stir,
In Paradise we could not stay,
Ancestral sin because of her,
When she Adam led astray.
Truly women are no angels,
They are not with wings endowed,
But, believe me, they'll derange all
Honest men that they enshroud.
They will sweet-talk you forever
Or until you fall for them,
Then their tongues will grow much sharper,
Glad a man believed their scam.
All those rosy cheeks and faces,
All that fire in their eyes,
Leave them be, those female graces
Or you'll get a bad surprise.
And the pale with ashblond hair
And with eyes as blue as sky,
Lads, they're dangerous, I swear,
There's no good one, far or nigh.
Lads, the women, they are cat-like
And you know just what that means,
Lick before and scratch behind,
Though you're treating them like queens.
Let me, young men, let me tell you
If you do not want to grieve
Let the women not enthrall you,
'Cause they're daughters of old Eve.
Lôszt dîr jonge, lôszt èch sôen,
Wéll der fró a glécklech gin,
Loszt dë frâleit, lôszt se gôen,
Well ét Ewas dèchter sin.
Wéll èch eng geschicht erzèlen,
Dasz der wészt, wë d'sâch séch huot,
Passt gutt op, gi' dîr ênt wèlen,
Ir der èch matt him bestuot.
Dîr konnt Schmatten Hennes kennen,
'T wôr e gudde frént fu mîr,
Drë en haut nach op den hennen,
Wann en nét begruowe wîr.
Schmatten Hennes, dé góng freien,
D'wôr keng frâ dohêm am haus,
Muszt séch dâch a nuocht geheien,
An d'gedolt góng entlech aus.
Konnt am duoref d'recht nét fannen,
An e góng zóm nechsten uort,
Gêt séch duor e mêdche glannen,
Dât séch, denkt e, matt em puort.
D'mêdchen, dât wôr flénk a fleizech,
Wann den Hennes am gebei,
'T wôr net rau a bèrebeiszech,
'T wôr am gëgendêl nach schei.
'T wôr nét sëer fill fum rèden,
Dôbei wâr ét âgezû'n,
D'schwetzt fum dót an d'schwetzt fum bèden,
Knéckech wâr ét matt de sû'n.
Mâ dem Hennes bâkt ét d'êer,
Bréngt em brót a kës erbei,
Well den Hennes wôr e fêer,
An ét flëft em brâf d'Marei.
Wann alt d'nôpesche gepéspert,
Dât wîr all ferstellerei,
Huot den Hennes him gewéspert:
"Engel, d'leit si bës elei."
An den Hennes hélt sei M'rêchen,
An se hun séch da bestuot,
A sei mêdchen góf séng frêchen,
D'sâch dë huot séch gutt geguot.
Mâ dem Hennes góngen d'âen,
Op a kûrzer, kûrzer zeit,
Dach wât wollt de schellem mâen,
As wë klôe bei de leit.
Aus dem engel góf en deiwel,
An nach lâng der beschter kên,
Onsen Hennes wôr am zweiwel,
Op ét nét der sîwen ên.
Faul wôr d'M'rei ganz îwer d'môszen,
Muorgens quóm ét kêmol op,
D'haus wôr dreckech wë d'lantstroszen,
D'hôer lógen an der zopp.
D'M'rei dât lëszt séch neischt ofgôen,
D'knéckechkêt, dë wôr ferbei,
Huot ét d'ê'r an d'pann geschlôen,
Wôr den Hennes nét derbei.
D'schei dë wôr em ganz fergângen,
D'zong dë wôr allzeit geschlaff,
D'huot mam maul all leit gefângen,
A séng rède wôre graff.
Krott, dê muszt den Hennes leiden,
Wann och d'haus foll sâche wôr,
Fóng den Hennes un ze streiden,
Hât d'M'rei e bei den hô'r.
Schmatten Hennes góf begruowen,
D'M'rei huot séch erêm bestuot,
Mâ ét konnt séch nét beluowen,
'T wôr e róden, dên em guot.
D'zong dë góf dem Marë stompech,
D'leit dë hun ét ausgelâcht,
'Well sei mann wôr faul a lompech,
Huot em alles drop gemâcht.
Backrâ musz dât frâménsch leiden,
'T as keng kûscht em haut ze hârt,
A fenkt d'Marë un ze streiden,
Flët em d'hauf bis an de gârt.
D'strêch ka kaum en èsel drôen,
Dë all dâch dem Marë bréngt,
Krût se bis zó désen dôen,
An se wôre wuol ferdéngt.
Kuckt, dô wôr mei brudder Tunn,
'T wôr de feinste borscht am duorf,
Jidder mêdchen wollt en hun,
Mâ e krût e schëne kuorf.
Sonndes wôr den Tunn gebotzt,
Hât och sûen an der tesch,
Huot dem reichste jong getrotzt,
Wann se owens bei der flesch.
Onsen Tunn hât d'Grëtche gèr,
Dât wôr îwerall bekannt,
Uzen en, wann d'hóchzeit wèr,
Matt dem schënste kant am lant.
D'Grëtche wôr en hófrech stéck,
Dât den Tunn un d'lîcht gelêt,
D'lâcht em muorgen op de réck,
Wann én d'haut zum danz beglêt.
D'Grëtchen hât all jong zum schâz
Dên am ganzen duoref as,
Spîlt mâtt alle wë eng kâz,
Matt der maus, dë dót gebass.
D'huot de jongen d'kepp ferréckt,
Dann de spott matt e gemacht,
'Lô en d'wârem hant gedréckt,
Dann en an d'gesîcht gelâcht.
Onsen Tunn, e gudde Japp,
Glêft der hechs, wât sî em sôt,
Glêft er më as séngem papp,
Sénger mamm, dë oft geklôt.
An den Tunn, dê mengt ét gutt,
Dô wôr guor kên zweiwel drun,
Mécht séng mamm em och kê mutt,
Frêt en dach beim Grëtchen un.
"Nê", sét d'Grët, "dô gét neischt draus,
Déch wéll éch dach sicher nét,
Déch du ârem, hongrech laus,
Matt drei képpen an er hétt."
Wészt der, wèn dât Grët nach kritt?
'T wôr den hîrt aus onsem duorf,
D'jonge gówe sénger mitt,
Jidderê góf him e kuorf.
Lauschtert nû, wât mîr geschitt,
Mîr a ménger beschter zeit,
Wë mei mêdchen méch drukritt,
An éch wôr èch brâf geheit.
'T góng mer îwerall zur frechs,
D'kickelt, schmunzelt, d'babbelt, d'lâcht,
Wë eng recht ferlëften hechs,
Huot ét séch u méch gemâcht.
D'hât mer schnell ét ugedôn,
Datt éch dô stóng óne wèr,
'T góf mei schâz, éch musz ét sôn,
An éch hât de schâz och gèr.
Schë wôr d'mêdche, gutt gebaut,
Nét ze kleng a nét ze grósz,
Mengen éch gesëch ét haut,
Matt dem hutt, op dêm eng rós.
Hôer hât ét keschtebróng,
Grosz an hell a lèwech ân,
D'wôr gefè'rlech fîr e jong
Séch doa bekannt ze mân.
Përlen wôren d'zenn am mont,
D'léffer wôre róserót,
Schëner hett der se nét font
Bei er joffer nô der mót.
D'bâke wôren ronn a foll,
D'rósen dë hun drop geblët,
An de kénn wôr nét ze boll,
Wôr as hett mer e gedrët.
Un dem mêdche wôr geschéck,
An der truocht, um ganze gânk,
Duocht, dât mêdche wîr mei gléck,
Fîr mei lèwe, lèwe lânk.
Mâ éch hu méch uorch geîrrt,
'T gét keng rósen óne dèr,
Hun dë dèr dann och gespîrt
Un der rës-chen, dë éch gèr.
Duocht mei mêdchen hett en hèrz,
An am hèrz, dô sësz éch dèf.
'T wôr nét wóer, 't wôr am Mèrz,
Dû krût éch mein ofschîdsbrèf.
Hett en donnerkeil méch traff,
Wîr éch nuots an d'mèr gefall,
D'hett méch nét më ugegraff,
'Wë dên ofschêt knall a fall.
Sprângen duocht éch, ârme jong,
Miszt mer d'hèrz fu gellech péng,
Wó éch góng a wó éch stóng,
Góf mer alles gèl a gréng.
Jôre góngen drîwer hin,
Mâ nach huot mer d'hèrz geblutt,
Hun ét dach nach gèr gesinn,
Wôr dem mêdchen dach nach gutt.
Mâ ét huot séng strôf och kritt,
Op de weier muszt ét gôen,
'T guof dês sant ze knéppe mitt,
Kénnt nach haut zó Affe frôen.
Lôszt dîr jonge, loszt éch sôen,
Wéll der fró a glécklech gin,
Lôszt dë fraleit, lôszt se gôen,
Well ét Ewa's dèchter sin.
Wë mer aus der bîbel wéssen,
Krût schon Ew' am Paradeis,
D'schwëer èrfsénn op d'gewéssen,
Lêt den Uodem dô op d'eis.
D'frâleit sén nach lâng keng engeln,
'Well se hu keng flël'ken un,
Mâ sî kénnen dên dîrengeln,
Dêm s' ét êmôl ugedun.
Kénne wë gebeidelt schwetzen,
Bis se èch de kapp ferréckt,
Wêrden dann hîr zonge wetzen,
Lâchen, dasz ét e gegléckt.
Dë op hîre bâke rósen,
Feier an den donkeln â'n,
Lôszt se gôn, se brenne, glôsen,
Wêrden èch ongglécklech mân.
An dë blêch matt blonten hôer,
A matt âen himmelblô,
Jongen, dô as fill gefôer,
'T as eng zort, dë as nét dô.
Jongen d'frâleit, dât se kâzen,
An der wészt, wë d'kâze sin,
Dë fîr lecken, hanne krâzen,
Wann se och gehêmelt gin.
Lôst dîr jonge, loszt éch sôen,
Wéll der fró a glécklech gin,
Lôszt dë fraleit, lôszt se gôen,
Well ét Ewa's dèchter sin.


My hat

Mein hutt

My hat has three corners,
Three corners my hat,
And had it not corners,
't would not be a hat.
My hat has three corners,
Three corners my hat,
And had it two corners,
It would be too bad.
My hat has three corners,
Three corners my hat,
Had it just one corner,
't would not be a hat.
My hat has three corners,
Three corners my hat,
And with its three corners,
It suits me, you bet.
Mein hutt huot drei schéppen,
Drei schéppe mein hutt,
An hett e keng schéppen,
Da wîr ét kên hutt.
Mein hutt huot drei schéppen,
Drei schéppe mein hutt,
An hett en zwó schéppen,
Da wîr e nét gutt.
Mein hutt huot drei schéppen,
Drei schéppe mein hutt,
Ma hett en eng schépp blos,
Da wîr ét kên hutt.
Mein hutt huot drei schéppen,
Drei schéppe mein hutt,
A well en drei schéppen,
Stêt hè mer 'só gutt.
Note: Gonner's poem has a different rhythm than the well-known German and English versions of this old children's rhyme:
Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken
Drei Ecken hat mein Hut
Und hätt er nicht drei Ecken
Dann wär es nicht mein Hut.
My hat, it has three corners,
Three corners has my hat,
And had it not three corners,
It would not be my hat.


The Boy From Steinsel

De stêseler

Not far from Mersch in Steinsel, my family's house stands there,
My mother died, my father was buried near his spouse,
I had no brothers, sisters, was poor as a church mouse,
And when our home was sold off, I left in great despair.
I felt compelled to wander, to leave the Mersch dale, woe!
I've seen a lot of France and I've braved the stormy sea,
I sometimes felt like dying, from sickness and from grief,
I even once was shipwrecked, how could I fall so low.
But I came to America, to earn myself some cash,
All to the West I headed, became a trapper there,
I got to know the redskins, I caught the fearsome bear,
Went hunting with the Indians, through wood and hill and hedge.
As friends we stayed together, but then he turned hostile,
I managed to escape when my cabin set on fire,
This wild and untamed country made life for me so dire,
I started at the diggings, but only for a while.
Got hired at a sawmill, but this too led to naught,
I never took a liking to wood and felling trees,
Also in timber rafting I gained no expertise,
Became at last a farm hand, and there I worked a lot.
Was saving up some money, and this I did to thrive,
The farmer had a daughter, I set my eyes on her,
Her father gave his blessing, and soon we married were,
Today we're happy people, just go and ask my wife.
My children are good Christians, they know what's good and right,
They go to school on weekdays, they serve as altar boy,
They're well-behaved, hard working, their mother's pride and joy,
Like flowers on the prairie, they bloom to our delight.
When after work we're sitting in the crisp evening air,
They beg me, please, to tell them about my family's house,
About Luxembourg, the fortress, old memories they rouse,
And most of all they're asking, just when we will go there.
If God grants me good health then I have resolved to go,
Back to my dear old homeland which lies across the sea,
On Holy Mary Sunday that's where I want to be,
To walk in the procession, with wife and kids in tow.
And once I've been to Steinsel, been to my home with bliss,
Once we have seen the city, some time in church have spent,
And seen some of the country, then I will be content;
To God I will be grateful and close my eyes in peace.
Am Mèrscherdall zó Stêsel, dô stêt mein hêmechshaus,
Méng mamm, dë wôr gestuorwen, begruowe wôr mei papp,
Ech hât nét brudder, séschter, wôr ârm as wë e Japp,
A wë onst haus ferkâft góf, dû muszt éch dô eraus.
Et huot méch fortgedrîwen, fort aus dem Mèrscherdall,
Ech sén dûrch Frankreich gângen, éch hât e stûrm zur së,
Um mèr dô sôllt éch stèrwen fu lêt a krenkt a wë,
A schéffbroch musst éch leiden, ét wôr en hârde fall.
Mâ éch quóm an Amérika, ferdéngen eppes gelt,
Ech sén an d'West gezûen, éch sén en trapper gin,
Ech hun de bèr gefângen, de rôde mann gesinn,
Ech hun em helfe jôen dùrch bésch, a bèrch a felt.
Lâng wôre mer frénn zesummen, an duornô góf ét streit,
Dach sén éch him entsprongen, wë hè mer d'hétt ferbrannt,
Ech góf des lèwens lêdech an désem wélle lant;
Ech góng an d'diggings kappen, dach némme fîr eng zeit.
Ech góng op de sêmill schaffen, dobei quóm neischt eraus,
An holz am bésch ze hâen, dât wôr nét ménger sâch,
Dû góng éch flëtzen dreiwen, ét blóf nét mei geschmâch,
Ech góng zum bauer déngen, dû zëen éch méch draus.
Ech wollt mer eppes spuoren, éch hun ét och gedôn,
De bauer hât eng duochter, de hett éch gèr gehuot,
De papp wôr ét zefridden, a mîr hun ons bestuot,
Haut se mer glécklech ménschen, méng frâ, dë kénn der frôn.
Hu kanner, dë séch schécken, als chréschte sén s' erzû'n,
An d'schól duor sén se gângen, an och an d'kannerlë'r,
A folgsam sén s' a schaffen, der mamm, dêr sén s' eng ë'r,
Se blë'n 'we d'prairieblummen, mer hun ons gellecht drun.
A wann éch nô der ârbecht zesumme matt e sin,
Da musz éch en erzèlen fu méngem hêmechshaus,
Fu Létzebûrch, der festonk, frôn sî méch alles aus,
Sî wéllen émmer wéssen, wa mîr 'môl dôhi gin.
Lëszt Gott mer méng gesonthêt, da kann éch haut scho sôn,
Zën éch matt frâ a kanner zûr âler hêmecht hin,
A muttergottessonndech, well éch doîwer sin,
Dasz matt der précéssion mîr all dô kénne gôn.
A wôr éch dann zó Stêsel a méngem stackhaus dran,
An an der neier kîrech, an hu mer d'stât gesinn,
An d'létzebûrger lentchen, wéll éch zefridde sin;
Ech danke Gott fun hèrzen a schlësze gèr méng ân.


Our Lord And The Three Men From The Moselle

Onser Hêrrgott an dë drei miseler

Saint Peter, you are a good man,
Let us three vintners into heaven,
On the Moselle we've worked hard,
Have prayed and toiled in our vineyard,
We hope to be recompensed, you see,
For all this in eternity.
Saint Peter being a good man,
Lets in the three Mosellians,
"Well, well," he says, "I guess I know
You've carried many heavy load.
Alas, you've also drunk your brew
And often partied all night through.
Let's go before the highest judge
And hear which sentence he'll adjudge.
With all your prayers, toil and work
A little drinking might not irk,
But if your conscience is not clear,
Quite soon we shall about it hear."
"Here are the three men," said Saint Pete
To our Lord up on his seat.
"Show them great mercy 'cause for sure
They all felt pity for the poor,
Provided drink for thirsty men
And often raised their glass with them.
There's Tunn from Emmel, his desire
Is joining our heavenly choir,
His buddy here's from Sentzich, hush,
The third made wine in Wormeldange.
His wine was good, without debate,
't was clear and pure and tasted great."
Our Lord's brow creases deep in thought,
And onto Him the Emmler's brought.
"You're from the lower Moselle, son,
Their booze is laced with devil's dung,
They add brook water to the vine,
And dare to call it Moselle wine!
More cleverness, old Tunn, you boast
Than God the Father, Son and Ghost,
By selling cheapest booze for wine,
This be your punishment divine:
Away with you to Hell's dark pit,
There try and quench your thirst with it!"
The Sentzan started to be scared,
He'd seen how badly Tunn had fared,
Now banished into Hell's great flames.
The Sentzan's conscience gave him pains,
But now he stood before the throne,
To hear his Maker's wrath alone.
"Forgive, oh God, me, greatest Lord,
I loved you always and adored,
I never cut my wine with booze
Or used some other evil ruse,
Just when the wine was all too sour
With sugar I made it taste less dour."
"The vine that grows at Sentzich's bank
Is most unsavoury, to be frank,
Therefore I pity thee, poor lad,
Take mercy on a fate so sad,
You need not go down into Hell,
In Purgatory you have to dwell."
Then 't was the Wormeldangian's turn.
"O Lord," quoth he, "I've always yearned
To lead a saintly Christian life,
Saint Peter knows how much I strived,
I toiled, I worked, by day and night,
Did not despair of any plight.
My vineyard I kept spick and span,
My wine was praised by many men,
Was never cut or watered down,
Upon such practices I frown,
Our priest too thought that it was fine,
't was used as sacramental wine.
Apart from all the good I've done
I rather took two swigs than one,
Much time was spent just playing cards,
Was master in the quarrelling arts,
These sins I will repent to thee,
From now on to eternity."
Then from his throne the Judge stepped down
And handed him the heavenly crown.
"I always was right pleased to see
You kept your wine impeccably,
Forgiven shall be all your sins,
Forever enjoy now heaven's inns."
Zént Pëter, du bas e gudde mann,
Lôsz ons drei miseler an den himmel ân,
Mer hu fill schwëer hatt gedrôen,
Gebèt, geschafft an onsren dôen,
Mer hoffen, dasz an der ëwechkêt
Ons onsere lón och nét entgêt.
Zént Pëter as e gudde mann,
Dé lëszt méng miseler dan erân.
"Mâjô" sêt en, "éch musz gestôen,
Fill hatten hudder êr dêch gedrôen,
Mâ och fill muonche patt gekrecht
A muonech nuocht erdûrch gezecht.
Da wélle mer bei de rîchter gôn,
Gesi wât dê wêrt fun èch sôn.
Fîr all êrt bèden, plôe, geheien
Wêrt hèn èch wuol êr pett ferzeien,
Mâ, wâ der soss nach um gewéss'n,
Dât lëszt séch dô nét wuol ferquéss'n."
"Hei sén drei miseler", sêt zént Pitt,
"Wë dîr, Hêrr Gott, jô wuol gesitt,
Sèt hinne gnêdech, hèft erbârmen,
Sî hâte mattlêt matt den ârmen,
Dë dûschtrech hun s' allzeit gedrenkt
A mattgedronkt, dasz ét geklénkt."
"Fun Emmel ként ëm Tunn hei hèr,
Dên haut gèr an den himmel wèr,
Sei kômper dô, dât as e Sénzer,
Dên hei e Wórmeldénger wénzer;
Hèn hât allzeit e gudde wein,
Schë klôer, hell, an d'blumm wôr fein."
Den Hêrrgott rompelt d'mechtech stîr
A rifft den Emmeler dann erfîr.
"An du bas fun der Ennermusel,
Dô huol'n se deiwelsdreck a fusel,
Sî kë'ren d'bâch an d'fâsz erân,
An dât soll muselwein da mâ'n!
Well dîr, ëm Tunn, më klûch gewèscht
As wë Gott fatter, son a gêscht,
Well dîr aus fusel wei wollt mâ'n,
Soll èch êr strôf och haut erzân.
Fort, marsch matt èch an d'hellepein,
Dô lescht den dûscht matt êrem wein."
Dem Sénzer wôr ét nét êndun,
Wë hè gehëert, dasz ëm Tunn
Ferdâmt wôr an all ëwechkêten,
An hèn, hè wôr jô haut den zwêten,
En hât d'gewéssen och nét reng,
A Gott, de rîchter, dê wôr streng.
"Ferzei, o Gott, mîr, du mein hêrr,
Ech hât déch allzeit lëf a gêr,
Ech hu mei wein nét gallisëert,
Ech hu keng bâch an d'fâsz gekëert,
Mâ wann e guor ze sau'r geschmâcht,
Hun éch matt zock'r e sësz gemâcht."
"De wein, dên dîr bei Sénzech baut,
Ech wêsz, dât as e sauert kraut,
Duorfîr hun éch matt dîr, du ârmen,
Als rîchter dann och mein erbârmen,
An d'hell, duor brauchste nét ze gôn,
Am fè' feier musz de d'strôf erdrôn."
Du quóm de Wórmelcher un d'rei.
"O hêrr", sêt hèn, "dîr wôr éch trei,
Ech hun als chréscht méng flîcht gedôen,
Dât kénn' der hei zént Pëter frôen;
Ech hu méch fill geheit, geplôt
A wôr am onggléck kês ferzôt.
Mei wéngert wôr am gudde stant,
Mei wein allzeit as reng bekannt,
Fum schmèren wollt éch kês neischt wéssen,
Dôdran hun éch e rengt gewéssen,
De mésswein, dên ons hêrre kâft,
Hun se bei mîr séch ugeschâft.
Mâ soss wôr éch der beschter kên,
Hât lëwer zwë pett as wë ên,
Wôr kês beim kârtespîl zefridden,
Hu matt dem nôper oft gestridden,
Mâ nu se mîr méng sénne lêt
Fun haut u bis an d'ëwechkêt."
Dû stóng de rîchter op fum trón
A rêcht dem Wórmelcher d'himmelskrón.
"Wells du dei wein 'só reng gehâlen,
Hun éch un dîr mei wuolgefâlen,
An all déng sénne si ferzi'n
Op ëwech sollst am himmel sin."


The Snow

De schnë

A story from the Palatinate
When the almighty God had made
All herbs, the grasses and the trees
And every flower in the glade,
The roses swaying in the breeze,
Then finally he made the snow,
His last creation here below.
He did not clothe the snow in hues,
Nor did he dress him all in gold,
As snow is barren, God did choose
To put no colours on the cold.
Instead, he gently told the snow:
I grant you: Choose a colour, go!"
The snow was proud and very vain,
He told the grass: "Give me your dress,
You're Earth's creation, thus mundane,
And green reflects my born noblesse,
Out of the heavens I descend,
You're from the ground, that's base, my friend."
The snow let out a haughty laugh,
Then to the rose he proudly said:
"Look at those prickly thorns you have!
Come, let me have your rosy red.
What would you do with such a hue?
It's much too good for one like you."
But then he saw, hugged to the ground,
The unassuming violet.
"You have the prettiest hue around,
If I can't have it, I'm upset.
In thorny shrubs and brambles hid,
You really have no use for it."
The sunflower sports a brilliant gold,
The snow soon had his eye on it.
"It's this or none," he stated bold,
"This gilded robe's a perfect fit."
But when he asked the flower for it,
She angrily turned down his bid.
Each flower in the field and heath
That God the Lord had given life,
Rejoiced about its coloured sheath.
No matter what the snow contrived,
When for their colour bold he asked,
They all said no to the request.
They loudly laughed into his face,
One of the flowers called him mad,
The others mocked his futile chase,
They really treated him quite bad.
"Stop bothering us," they gruffly said,
"We do not care, get lost, my lad."
And so at last he went away,
In pain he wandered down the road,
He rested, sighing with dismay,
Next to the snowdrop's small abode.
Told her about his fate so grim,
Until the snowdrop pitied him.
"No one will give their hue, alas,"
He whined and moaned in great distress,
"And so I will stay colourless
And like the wind without a dress.
Because the wind cannot be seen
He howls as stormwind, desperate, mean."
With pity filled the snowdrop's heart,
She said: "I know what we can do,
My coat is white, but 't is a start,
I'll share it happily with you.
That way you have at least a dress,
If nothing fancy to impress."
The snow was joyful and content,
He put his new coat on with care.
And now when frost comes to torment
The flowers, snow will help the fair.
He hugs the snowdrop, keeps her warm,
And shelters her from winter's harm.
But to the meadow flowers bright
And those upon the forest floor,
He's sworn revenge with hateful spite,
From now on and forevermore,
If they survive the frost and wind
The snow will kill them and their tint.
Wât d'folleck an der Palz séch derfun erzèlt.
Wë Gott der hêrr a sénger macht
Erschâfen d'kreider, d'grâs an d'bêm
An d'rósen, d'liljen foller pracht,
All blummen, dë um felt dohêm,
Schâft hèn zó allerlescht de schnë,
Well soss guor neischt z' erschâfe më.
Zwâr kritt de schnë kê fârwecht klêt,
Kê reckelchen fu ródem golt,
Well aus dem schnë kê lèwe gêt,
Huot Gott der hêrr dât nét gewollt.
Dach giddech sêt en zó dem schnë:
"Sich dîr eng fârf, 't mécht wënech më."
De schnë wôr eidel, âgebîlt,
E sêt zum grâs: "Schenk mîr dei klêt,
Du gés jô op der èrt gezîlt.
Dât gréngt, dât as ét, wât mer stêt,
Ech kommen aus der loft erôf,
Du aus dem gront, dât as eng strôf."
Du gêt de schnë a séngem stolz
Zur rós a rèt se hófrech un:
"Du huos jô spétzech dèr um holz,
Lôsz méch dei róserót dach hun.
Wât méchs du matt der schëner fârf?
Fir dë huos du dach kê bedârf."
Zum feiëlchen, dât hêmlech blët,
Huot dû de schnë séch higewant:
"Schenk mîr déng fârf, dë méch unzët,
Et as de schënst am ganze lant,
Hei an den hecken, an den treisch,
Mécht sî jô dach kê grószt gedeisch."
Der sonneblumm hîrt blénkecht golt,
Dât huot dem schnë ant d'â gestach,
A golt hett hèn séch klêde wollt,
Gént hèn wîr da guor kê ferglach.
De schnë, dên huot se drém gebèt,
Mâ d'sonneblumm huot wénsch gerèt.
All blumm um felt, an op der hêt,
Dë Gott der hêrr erschâfen hât,
An dë séch hîrer fârf gefrêt,
Zó allen huot de schnë geschwât,
En huot se ém hîr fârf gefrôt,
Mâ all hun si em nê gesôt.
De schnë, dê góf brâf ausgelâcht,
Dêr blummen eng nennt e ferréckt,
Dë aner hun de spott gemâcht,
Mâ all hun s' en op d'schéff geschéckt,
E sollt se weider nét më plôn,
Fort sollt e sénges wêes gôn.
E góng och entlech sénger wê,
Mâ foller zuor a foller lêt,
Sétzt am ferdrosz séch op eng lê,
Wó eng schnëkleckelche bei stêt.
E klôt er all sei battert wë,
An dë hât mattlêt matt dem schnë.
"Well mîr kê ménsch eng fârf wéllt gin",
'So jëmert hèn a séngem lêt,
"Musz éch wuol óne fâref sin
A wë de want och óne klêt.
A well kê ménsch de want geseit,
Rôst hèn als stûrm zó sénger zeit."
D'schnëkleckelchen erbâremt séch
A sêt zóm schnë: "Du, éch wêsz rôt,
Mei mentelchen krist du fer déch,
Zwâr as e weisz, mâ 't as eng wôt.
Du kris eng fârf an och e klêt,
Dât dîr den déngscht zur nót dach dêt."
Zefridde wôr de schnë a fró,
En huot de mentelche gedrôn,
Duorfir helt hèn der blimmchen zó
A lëszt de frascht neischt gént se sôn,
En hellt se wârm, en dréckt se lëf,
Wa gèr de want se huole gëf.
Mâ soss dë blummen alleguor,
Dë op de wîsen, an dem felt,
En allen huot e râch geschwuor,
Bis un d'lescht enn fun déser welt.
Wann hinne want a frascht neischt din,
De schnë, e rîcht se sîcher hin.


A Tale From the Oesling

Eng sêchen aus dem Esléck

In olden times a castle
Lay deep in the Ardennes,
Montjardin stood all gracile
Near Hoffelt over a glen.
Dame Blanche rules in this fort,
She's strict and sometimes mean,
No man dares to retort,
She's known to make a scene.
One day Dame Blanche requires
Her maid to pack her things,
Because she so desires
To travel round, like kings.
At dawn she wants to leave
Before the first birdsong,
Her forester, on the eve,
Is told to come along.
The stars still light the sky
When Pierre walks up the stair,
The castle lady sly
In anger awaits him there.
Our Pierre's a clever lad,
He argues: "It's still night."
Dame Blanche proclaims that that
Can surely not be right.
She says: "The lark was trilling
Upon the open plain.
I bet you every shilling
I own within this reign."
"My lady, there's a bet,"
The forester replies,
"I swear upon my head
There's no lark in the skies."
"If all the land were granted
To me that I could cross
Before the first lark chanted,
You'd have a mighty loss.
We both know in our hearts
My time would be well spent,
For I'd run many yards
And earn a lot of land."
Dame Blanche stops in her shouting,
"I doubt that you'll succeed,
But still, before my outing,
Feel free to try that feat."
She need not tell him twice,
He's sprinting like a hare,
For such a hefty prize
To come his way is rare.
Just like the wind he's passing
The sheriff's pretty girl,
'Cause matters much more pressing
Called forth him in a twirl,
A flash – Pierre's in the glen
And runs towards the morn,
He trips, gets up again,
Won't mind the scratching thorn.
Pierre's running fast and faster,
He leaps towards the noon,
But sunrise – oh disaster!
Is chasing fast the moon.
Dame Blanche looks out her castle,
She strains to hear a sound,
But lark is not her vassal,
No birdsong's to be found.
Pierre tramples down a flower,
Breaks twigs upon a branch,
With heedless running power
Kicks snail shells in a trench.
Unearthing here a plant
And turning there a stone,
He's bursting through the land,
Determined and alone.
The day is gently dawning,
Our Pierre is running hard,
He steers towards the awning
Inside the castle's yard.
He's panting up the hill,
He's tumbling in, half lame,
He never stops until
He stands before his dame.
And just this very moment,
Our Pierre is panting hard,
A sunray hits the room and
Lights up each dusky part.
The lark then spreads her wings,
Flies up into the sky,
The merry tune she sings
Rings out so pure and high.
The lady lost the tourney,
The forester got his land,
Before the scheduled journey
She signs the precious grant.
Three thousand acres round,
All woodland, dense and green,
A perfect hunting ground
With game and fish and stream.
The forester Pierre decided
To give land to the poor,
And honourably presided
Their court of common law.
The people never fail,
Each year upon that day,
To tell again his tale
And for his soul to pray.
‘T lóch dëf an den Ardennen,
E schlasz zó âler zeit,
Dât sî Montjardin nennen,
Fun Hófelt nét guor weit.
Zó Montjardin dô haust
Frâ Blanche, dë bës a streng,
Eng frâ, dë gèr opbraust,
A soss der beschter keng.
Frâ Blanche matt hîrer joffer,
Dë pâkt hîr sâchen ân,
An d'késcht an an de koffer
Fîr séch op d'rês ze mâ'n.
Frë muorgens wollt se gôn,
Frë îr e full nach séngt,
Dât lëszt s' em jêer sôn,
Dên s' op der juocht bedéngt.
Nach fonkeln d'stèrn um himmel,
Dû quóm de Pèr dohèr,
En hëert e gemimmel,
Dasz d'schlaszfrâ an der wèr.
De Pîrche wôr nét domm,
E klappt se all eraus,
Frâ Blanche, dë wôr nét stomm,
A botzt de jêer aus.
Sî sêt em d'lë'rcher hetten
Gesongen op dem felt,
Sî wéllt ém alles wetten,
Wât hirt op déser welt.
"Och nên, madamm, dîr îrt",
Sêt hîre jêer drop,
"Dasz dîr ferluore wîrt,
Mei kapp dë sèt éch drop.
Gëf mîr dât lant gehëren,
Em dât éch lâfe ként,
Bis dasz mer d'lë'rchen hëren,
Wann sî den dâch ferként,
Et wîr en zimlecht stéck,
Dô as kên zweiwel drun,
Ech mëch nach muonche schréck,
Hett éch de lâf ze dun."
D'madamm hellt op ze schêlen,
Bedenkt séch, sêt zum Pèr
"Abê, dë sâch soll gêlen,
Dât dô gesëch éch gèr."
De Pèr bedenkt séch nét,
Spréngt fort as wë e rë,
D'gelêenhêt dë gét
Sei lèwe lâng nét më.
'T gêt lânscht dem focht séng duochter,
Fort wë de stûrm a want,
De Pèr kuckt nét dô'ruochter,
Him gêt ét haut ém d'lant.
Am nû wôr hèn am dall,
Lêft fort gént muorgenssonn,
Wann hèn och duorgefall,
En uocht nét sénger wonn.
De Pèr lêft schnell a schneller,
Lêft da gënt méttessonn,
Zur lénke gét ét heller,
Am schlasz, dô billen d'honn.
Frâ Blanche, dë kuckt an d'welt
A lauschtert eng gutt weil,
Op nach an hîrem felt,
Keng lë'rchen an der eil.
Hei brécht de Pèr eng streiszchen,
An dô en âscht fum stâm,
Stëszt duor a schlèckenheis-chen
An d'lach beim êchebâm.
Hei drët de Pèr e stack,
An dô e stên erém,
Zwâr dët en nét ze dack,
Mâ dach en drët se ém.
Der dâch fenkt un ze grôen,
Fill zeit as nét më rescht,
'T musz nun op d'schlasz zó gôen,
De Pèr, den dêt sei bescht.
E rennt de bèrech op,
'T as wât e renne kann,
D'madamm mécht d'fénster op,
Hè ként zur dîr erân.
Kaum wôr de Pèr dobannen,
De schwês drépst fun der stîr,
Fellt d'sonn och dôerannen,
Dûrch d'fénster bis ant dîr,
An d'lëerchen dë klémmt
Dëf aus dem dall erop
Um litt, dât s' ugestémmt,
Bis hëch zum himmel op.
D'madamm konnt neischt më sôen,
De jêer krût sei lant,
An îr s' op d'rês wollt gôen,
Huot sî emt zóerkannt.
En dausend drei ôr fëer,
Dêr schënster muorge bésch,
E feine juochtrewëer,
Matt wâszer, wélt a fésch.
De Pèr, den hât erbârmen
Matt alle klenge leit,
E schenkt sei lant den ârmen,
A krût e jôrgezeit.
All jôer op den dâch
Gét fîr séng sël gebèt,
Fun dêm, wât hè gemâcht,
Gét da matt dank gerèt.


Casimir, King of Poland, and John the Blind

Casemîr fu Polen an de blanne Jang

The Duke of Luxembourg was John,
King of Bohemia too, you'll find,
But being sightless, he was known
Throughout the land as John the Blind.
King Casimir of Poland was
Well known for mockery and jokes,
But read on, people, fast because
He once got caught by his own hoax.
One day, the Polish army went
To war against the blind king John,
King Cas'mir in his royal tent
Quite wickedly was poking fun.
He sent a letter to the king
To tell him that he's sick of war,
A truce and peace, that is the thing
That countries should be aiming for.
"I'm tired of bloodshed," wrote the Pole,
"My people too want peace out here,
Therefore I sought within my soul
And came up with a good idea:
Dear king, you are a fearless man
And so I challenge you to fight,
Just you and me, that is my plan,
That duel shall the war decide."
The chancellor reads the message out,
The mockery is crystal clear,
At first John pales and then he vows
To take revenge on Casimir.
He sends his fastest horse and man
En route to sly king Casimir,
The rider rides as quick he can
And soon the Polish court is near.
The king of Poles steps out to greet
The messenger upon his mount,
And many of the king's elite
Are curiously now gathering round.
"My lord," the messenger declares,
"Has ordered me to ride to you.
He's sending you, your wife and heirs
His best regards, sincere and true.
But first and foremost I must give
The answer you've been asking for,
My lord accepts with great relief
Your challenge that shall end the war.
We'll heed the laws of chivalry,
Our weapons shall both equal be,
Two swords with similar blades, you see,
Are a fair fight's best guarantee.
Bring equal armour, equal shield
And equal light conditions too,
Thus, honourably, upon the field
Shall fight Bohemia's John with you.
So poke your eyes out, quick and fast,
King John is ready for the fight,
And may this battle then at last
End our nations' pain and plight."
King Casimir does not reply,
But all his nobles laugh out loud,
The rider turns without goodbye,
The mocker's mocked by all the crowd.
Den herrzoch Jang fu Létzebûrch
Wôr kinek och fum Bëmelant,
Mâ hè wôr blann an dôerdûrch
Góf hèn de blanne Jang genannt.
Aus Pôlelant de Casemîr,
Dê wôr als spottfull weit bekannt,
Nu glêft dîr leit ganz sicher mîr,
En as 'môl uorech ugerannt.
Wë hè gënt Bëmen as an d'felt,
A gënt de blanne Jang gezûn,
Mécht hèn de spott mam blannen helt,
Mâ greilech huot en séch bedrûn.
E schéckt dem herrzoch Jang e brëf
An aller eil dûrch eng staffët,
Schreift, dasz dêrs kriche mitt hè gëf,
A bréngt de fridden op d'tapët.
Dêrs blutt, sêt hèn, as g'nuch fergosz,
Méng leit, mellt hèn, hun d'streide sât;
Mâ dasz de krich nét ganz emsoss,
Bréngt hèn en ânere plang op d'blât:
"Déch kinek als en dâpere mann,
Déch fuordern éch zum streit eraus,
Mer spèren ons zesummen an
A fèchten onsre krich dann aus."
De kanzler lêt dë sâch em duor,
Mei Jang, dên huot de spott begraff,
E guof bâl blêch, bâl rót fun zuor,
Huot d'fauscht gemâcht an da gepaff.
Op flénkem gaul e reitersmann,
Schéckt hèn zum kinek Casemir;
Dê reit schnell, wât e reide kann,
Bis bei dem Casemîr séng dîr.
De Pôlekinek ként eraus
A matt him muonchen èdelmann;
Hè frêt de ritter lâchent aus,
Wómatt dasz hèn him dénge kann.
"Mein hêrr, sét dên, huot méch gesant,
Fill complementen lëszt e sôn,
Hofft dasz dîr ëch nach wuol befannt,
A lëszt nô frâ a kanner frôn.
Mâ d'hâptsâch, dë éch hei ze dun,
As d'entwért op de leschte brëf,
Mein hêrr, dên hélt dê streit matt un,
Dasz 't dann en enn mam kriche gëf.
Nôm brauch bei echte rittersleit,
Musz alles gleicher hant da sin:
Zwê schwèrter matt der gleicher schneit,
Dë gleicher zeit geschmît sé gin.
Den harnisch gleich, a gleich och d'schélt,
An d'lûcht gedêlt zó gleicher hant,
Dât as, as wë mein hêrr ét wéllt,
De kinek Jang fu Bëmelant.
Wann dîr êr âen ausgestacht,
Dann as e jidder zeit berêt,
Sei schlâch ze fëren an der schlacht,
Dasz dése krich zó enne gêt."
De Casemîr huot neischt gesôt,
Mâ d'èdelleit, dë hu gelâcht,
De reiter as derfu gejôt,
An d'folleck huot de spott gemâcht.


German Men Take a German Oath

Deitsch menner schwèren en deitschen êt

In olden times the Spaniards
ruled the rich Netherlands,
Their king, Philip the second,
held reign with iron hand,
His daughter married Albert,
archduke of Austria,
As dowry Philip gave them
the Low Countries up far.
This Albert was an Austrian,
of purest German brand,
He swiftly called together
the greatest of his land,
They all should pledge allegiance,
respectfully bow heads,
Look see what's new in Brussels
and meet the newlyweds.
They came from Flanders, Chiny,
and also Luxembourg,
From Tournai, Bruges, and Mechlin,
from Ghent and from Limbourg,
From Liège, Namur and Antwerp,
from Hainaut and Brabant,
To Brussels all the nobles,
the clergy and towns went.
The nobles sent the mighty,
the clergy sent the wise,
The towns sent mayors, provosts,
chief justices alike,
The common folk were gawping,
to Brussels they would drive
To see the dashing Albert
and Isabell his wife.
In every street and alley,
the crowds would throng and cheer,
Such riches and such beauty,
almost too much to bear,
Each house was decorated
with coat of arms and flags,
It made you all quite dizzy,
adornment to the max.
Inside the town hall building,
right on the esplanade,
Sat down in royal garments,
before the whole parade
Upon his throne duke Albert,
with Isabell at his side,
The governor and officials
stood by with obvious pride.
Around the throne were standing,
high up on the estrade,
In full gear all the Knights of
the Golden Fleece displayed,
Behind them stood the prelates,
chief justice, noblemen,
As common law would have it,
from Luxembourg's old land.
Inside the town hall building,
in front of Albert's throne
Sat in the smaller circle
and in the larger zone
The prelates and the nobles,
chief justices, stern, frank,
Beside them sat the mayors,
according to their rank.
Oh, what a lavish splendour,
what jealousy and pride,
The noblemen and burghers
were never unified,
They both bragged with their titles,
conceited, full of spite,
The commoners' gold made jealous
more than just one poor knight.
And even mayors and provosts
were proud and jealous men,
The Brabant people looked down
on those from Liège again;
The clergymen were wiser,
they wore their splendid clothes,
But silently derided
the layman's silly pose.
The archduke Albert surveyed
the congregration hall,
Benevolently smiling
upon his subjects all,
He rose up from his seat and
held high his outstretched hand,
Eyes raised towards the heavens,
he spoke to all the land.
His oath rang full of grandeur,
so memorable and true,
All three estates had rights which
duke Albert now renewed;
And he pronounced the sentence:
"Que dieu me soit en aide."
The entire congregation
rose up to jubilate.
At last the joy abated,
the herald took the floor,
He asked them all to swear now
the oath they came here for.
Each one agreed to do it,
to swear a holy oath,
To stand beside duke Albert
in good and bad days both.
So whether they're from Flanders,
or Mechlin in Brabant,
And whether they are nobles,
or prelates in their land,
The justices and mayors,
important in their town,
They all prepared to pledge now
allegiance to the crown.
They had to bend the knee and
to hold up high the hand,
Two fingers signaled fealty
to him who ruled the land,
In French they pledged allegiance,
their state of mind was French,
The herald called their names and
they rose up from the bench.
When every Dutch emissary
had sworn his holy vow,
The Luxembourgish envoys
were told their turn was now,
There stood Trier's abbot Rheinhart
from abbey Saint Mesmin,
And Orval's wise Remakel,
they rose up to begin.
The noblemen came after,
their names are well renowned,
They were the very bravest
and most upright around,
Sir John from Stadtbredimus,
a baron up in Wiltz,
Count Florence from Berlaymont,
both rich men with strong wills.
Count Carl of Aremberg and
Neuerburg came on,
And then respected prelates
from Echternach, Arlon,
From Bitburg in the Eifel,
from Damvillers, I tell,
And justices and mayors
from every town as well.
To swear to Albert fealty,
most honest and devout,
The town of Luxembourg, too,
had sent its syndic out,
And all these men were standing,
before the duke their lord,
To swear a loyal French oath,
or so you might have thought.
That's not what they were doing,
tradition stated clear
That truly German people
to French ways won't adhere;
Their knees were never bending
to please a worldly lord,
They only ever knelt down
for God whom they adored.
And thus the Luxembourgers
were standing tall and proud,
They lifted just one finger
and spoke their oath out loud,
Befitting German custom,
a German oath swore they:
"Thus help us God, the saints all,
onto the Judgment Day."
The Dutch who heard the sentence
did not like this one bit,
Some cursed in righteous anger,
some got a laughing fit,
There was a whispered grumbling
inside the vast great hall
Which our archduke Albert
just couldn't have at all.
How dare these common people
make fun of all the French,
Did they drink too much faro,
their peasant thirst to quench?
They think they are above us,
some grumbled in the hall,
They whispered so pronouncedly
that Albert heard it all.
Duke Albert's face turned into
a disapproving frown,
Abruptly he is walking
the estrade up and down,
His herald signals quiet,
no sound must now be heard,
'Cause Albert our archduke
would like to speak a word.
"Dutch people, stand and listen
to what I have to say,
Wherefore are you complaining
and grumbling in dismay?
You surely had it coming,
too often you've rebelled,
Against God, against your liege lord,
your pride was keenly felt.
I praise the Luxembourgers,
unwavering loyal men,
And thus the king appreciates
their German oath again,
When they raise high one finger
and look us in the eye,
We know these men would for us
all things in Hell defy!"
The proud Dutch people listened surprised by this rebuke,
They bit their tongues and darkly
looked up at Albert Duke,
The Luxembourgers revelled
in unexpected praise,
They took great pride in loyalty,
and loyalty is what pays.
Zur zeit wë d'spuonjer d'hêrren
am reiche Nidderlant,
A wë Philipp den zwêten
regëert matt stârker hant,
Gét hèn dât lant der duochter,
wë sî bestuot as gin
Matt Albêrt dem èrzherrzoch,
als brautgeschenk dohin.
Fun Estreich wôr den Albêrt,
en echten, deitsche mann;
E rifft dë grósz zesummen,
ét ként, wë komme kann,
Den êt der trei ze schwèren,
ze hëre gudde rôt,
Gesi wât neis a Brëssel,
a neis am jonge stôt.
Sî kommen aus de Flandern,
aus Chiny, Létzebûrch,
Fun Tournay, Brugge a Mecheln,
fu Gent hèr a Limbûrch,
Fu Léck, Namór, Antwêrben,
dem Hainaut a Brôbant,
Nô Brëssel kommen d'hêrren,
dé d'stenn dohigesant.
Den adel schéckt dë mechtechst,
dë weis de prîsterstant,
Hîr mêre, propste, scheffen,
dë schécken d'stèt am lant,
An d'folleck dreift de fîrwétz
nôm schëne Brëssel hin,
Et gëf dach gèr den Albêrt
an d'Isabell gesinn.
Wôr dât eng frêt e jûbel
a jidder gâsz a strôsz,
Wôr dât eng pracht e reichtom,
ét góng bâl îwer d'môsz,
Matt fuondlen, wappe, schélter
wôr jidder haus gezîrt,
Der sit bâl an de strôszen
fun dîr zu dîr ferîrt.
Am grósze sall am rôtshaus,
fîrdrun as d'esplanât,
Dô sósz am kineklechen,
am prechtechen ornât,
Op séngem trón den Albêrt,
matt sénger Isabell,
De gouverneur, d'beamten,
dë wôren op der stell.
A ronderém dô stóngen
beim trón op der estrât,
Fum goldene Flësz dë ritter
an hîrem folle stât,
Nô hinnen dann prélâten,
d'scheffen, d'èdelleit,
Dë Létzebûrch geschéckt hât,
nôm recht aus âler zeit.
Am grósze sall dô sószen
zó fësze fun dem trón,
Sî sószen fîr am klengen,
an dann am grósze bón,
Nô de prélâten d'ritter,
an d'scheffen hannendrun,
A bei de scheffen d'mêren,
fîr d'uordnonk recht ze hun.
Dô wôr fill pracht a reichtom,
fill eifersûcht a stolz,
Den adel an dë bîrger,
dât wôr nét enges holz,
Dë eng dë hun den âneren
matt hîrem golt getrotzt,
De ritter wôren d'bîrger
zur frechs eraus gebotzt.
'Sóguor bei scheffe, mêren,
do wôr de neit nét kleng,
D'Brôbenner all dë wôren
de Lécker ze gemeng;
De clergë wôr gescheiter,
wôr hèn och gutt geklêt,
Lâcht hèn séch dach an d'feischten
fîr dë domm eidelkêt.
Matt fillem wuolgefâlen
a matt zefriddener minn,
Kuckt Albêrt den èrzherrzoch
op dë fersammlonk hin;
Dann hëft e séch fum sëszel,
gënt himmel streckt en d'hant,
Gënt himmel gin séng âen,
e schwèrt sein êt dem lant.
Dât wôr e feierlechen,
erhâbene moment,
Wë Albêrt den drei stennen
hîr rechter unerkennt;
A wë e sêt dë wîrder:
"Que dieu me soit en aide",
Dû jûbelt d'ganz fersammlonk
a jauchst fu lauter frêt.
A wë de stûrm ferbei wôr,
dû trétt den herolt fîr,
E frêt op jidderên
berêt zum schwère wîr.
Se wôren all zefridden,
se schwèren hîren êt
Dem Albêrt trei ze bleiwen
am gléck an och am lêt.
Op sî aus Flandre quómen,
aus Mecheln aus Bróbant,
Op èdelleit, prélâten
se sén am hêmechslant,
Op mëre sî, op scheffen,
dohêm an hîrer stât,
Sî quómen all ze schwèren
der rei nô, wë gesât.
Sî muszten d'knëe bëen,
erhèwen hëch hîr hant,
Sî schwère matt zwë fanger,
him trei, dem firscht fum lant,
Sî schwèrn a welscher sprôch
a matt dem welsche gêscht,
Sî schwèren nô enâner,
wë sî den herolt hêscht.
Wë s' all geschwó'ren hâten,
dë't Nidderlant geschéckt,
Dû quómen d'Létzebûrger
zóm êt erbei geréckt,
Et wôr fun Trëer de Rheinhârt,
abt zó St. Maximin,
Fun Orval abt Remâkel,
dë d'ëscht erbeikomm sin.
Fun èdelleide quómen,
dât as nach haut bekannt,
Dë allerdîchtechst menner
aus ons'rem ganze lant,
Herr Johann fu Stâtbrëdemes,
dé freihêrr wôr zó Wolz,
Grôf Florence fu Berlaymont,
en hêrr guor grósz a stolz.
Nôm fîrscht fun Arebèrch
a Neierbûrch grôf Cârl,
Du quómen d'hófrech probsten
fun Echternach an Arel,
Fu Bittbûrch an der Eifel
an och fun Damvillers,
Wôr dô mat sénge scheffen
fu jidder stât de mêr.
Dem Albêrt trei ze schwèren,
him als regent fum lant,
Hât Létzebûrch de scheffen,
mam syndicus gesant.
A wë se all dô stóngen,
schën an er ronner rei,
Du sollten sî jo schwèren
e welschen êt der trei.
Dât hun se nét gedôen;
nô hîrem âle recht,
Als echten, deitsche mennern,
stóng hinnen d'welscht ze schlecht;
An dann de knë ze bëen,
dât klénkt e grât 'wë spott,
Sî se gewînnt hîr knëen
ze bëen fîru Gott.
'Só bleiwen d'Létzebûrger
wë menner strâcks dô stôn,
Si hèwe blós ê fanger
fîr hîren êt ze sôn;
Sî schwèren als deitsch menner
en echten deitschen êt:
"Só hellef ons Gott ant d'hellgen
bis an all ëwechkêt."
Dât huot de Nidderlenner
nét grât ze gutt geschmâcht,
Dë eng gin séch un d'fluchen,
dë âner hu gelâcht,
Et góf e péspere, gromm'len
am grósze weide sall,
Dât Albêrt dem èrzherrzoch
nét grât ze gutt gefall.
Dë wéllen d'welsch ferspotten,
dë aus dem ginzentrausch,
Sî hu gewész fum fâro
en uordekléche rausch,
Sîn dë më as mîr âner,
der rède gi gefërt,
Et góf 'só gutt gepéspert,
datt Albêrt alles hërt.
Den Albêrt góf onróech,
e rompelt bës séng stîr,
En trétt fum trón ernidder
an op d'estrât erfîr;
Den herolt dê gét d'zêchen,
dasz alles stéll se sollt,
Well Albêrt den èrzherrzoch
e wîrtche rède wollt.
"Dîr Nidderlenner lauschtert,
éch wéll èch eppes sôn,
Wuorfir dât gromm'le, knuotern,
wuofir dât spotte, klôn,
Dîr braucht èch nét ze wonnern,
dîr huot schon oft rebellt,
Gënt Gott a gënt de kinek,
dât as nét, wât gefellt.
Respect fîr d'Létzebûrger,
dë wôren allzeit trei,
Se kénnen als deitsch menner
op deitsch och schwèren hei,
Erhèwen sî e fanger,
aus hîrem â e bléck,
Sêt ons, dasz se trei bleiwen
am ongléck an am gléck!"
Dë hófrech Nidderlenner,
dë mâche grószech ân,
Se muszten d'spotte lôszen,
sî kuke sauer drân,
De Létzebûrger wôr ét,
en dèwe kreck an d'holz,
Se konnten séch wuol frêen
matt ganz gerechtem stolz.


The Dwarfs of Vichten

D'wîchtelcher zó Fîchten

Vichten was where our dwarfs had a keep,
That's what the fairy tales tell us,
The castle was tidy,
The Scheierburg mighty,
Baffling for such tiny dwellers,
Its crumbling ruins today still astound.
And in the Scheierburg's dwelling the king,
Whom all dwarfs are obeying,
There are fierce dragons,
Guarding full wagons
Of silver and gold, which unfailing
Alleviate the misery of poor people's lives.
Tiny are dwarfs, quite diminutive folk,
Yet they're intelligent, clever,
Won't be mistreated,
Cannot be cheated,
It would be a futile endeavour,
Great was this small folk and trustworthy, too.
Helping the people whenever there's need,
Helping them ploughing and sowing,
Cutting and stacking,
Spinning and packing,
Ceaselessly dwarfs will keep going,
Wherever they're helping, there's blessing and joy.
Mostly they're active from dusk until dawn,
When all the humans are sleeping,
Don't try to spy them,
They're very shy then,
Soon as they see someone peeping
They're leaving your homestead and not coming back.
Times kept on changing, the future looked bright,
Humans turned awfully clever,
Evil and cunning,
Small folks are shunning,
One day the dwarfs turned forever
Away from the people and left them alone.
Scheierburg stands in the forest forlorn,
Gone are the dwarfs from this region,
Wild flowers nestle
Sad on the castle,
Gone are the owl's age-old legion,
The castle's high roof and the gables are gone.
But of the dwarfs people tell in the land
Many a strange tale and story,
Where they were sowing,
Where they were mowing,
Praising their friendship and glory,
Kindly they always lent poor men a hand.
D’wîchtelcher hâte bei Fîchten e schlasz,
Dâs wât ons d'sêgercher sôen,
D'schlasz, dât wôr prechtech,
D'Scheierbûrch mechtech,
'T as emôl guor nét ze sôen,
'T kann ên 't nach haut un de reschter gesinn.
An op der Scheierbûrch wuont en, de kineck,
Dêm all dë wîchtelcher déngen,
Wó se bewâchen,
Sî matt den drâchen,
D'sélwer an d'golt, dât se bréngen,
Fannen se d'ménschen am misêr an ârm.
Kleng sén dë wîchtelcher, butzech gewèscht,
Mâ dach gescheit îwer d'môszen,
Nét ze belëen,
Nét ze bedrëen,
Dât muszt e jidder e lôszen,
Grósz wôr dât folleck, a brâf dë kleng leit.
Helfen de ménschen, wann s' an der nót,
Helfen e plóen a sëen,
Schneiden a stacken,
Spannen um racken,
Fîr s' aus dem êlent ze zëen;
Dô wó se helfen, wâr sêgen a gléck.
Mâ se di mêschtens hir ârbecht bei nuocht,
Datt jô kê ménsch se dru stëert,
Gêt en da kucken,
Krën se hîr mucken,
Schuomen séch a se genëert,
Fort gin s' a kommen dann nét më erém.
Mâ wë dë zeiten emôl ânescht se gin,
D'ménschen all dâch më gelëert,
Wë se du émmer
Schlémmer a schlémmer,
Bëser se gin a ferkëert,
Wôr d'régement fun de wîchtelcher aus.
Dû sén se fort, aus der Scheierbûrch fort,
Fort aus der gëgent gezûen,
D'blummen, dë trauern
Haut op de mauren,
Fort sén och d'eile geflûen,
Haut as kên dâch a kê gèwel më dô.
Mâ fun de wîchtelcher wêsz mer um lant
Haut nach ze zèlen a sôen,
Wó se gesët hun,
Wó se gemët hun,
Wât s' och soss nach gedôen,
Wó se de ménsche gehóll'f an der nót.